Eric Herzik, Ph.D.

Professor, Emeritus


Eric Herzik, for a long-time, has been a part of the political science department. He was the department's chair from 1992-2000 and then again from 2007-2019. He has also served in various administrative capacities for the University and College, including being interim Dean of the College of Arts and Science and the College of Liberal Arts (2003-2005); Director of Basque Studies; Director of the 2007 University Accreditation; Chair of the Mathematics Department (2008-2013); Chair of Theatre & Dance; and Chair of the Art Department. He was University Faculty Senate Chair in 2010.

He conducts research primarily on topical issues relating to Nevada state and local government. Herzik and an interdisciplinary team of researchers recently completed (2016) the "Vehicle Miles Traveled Project," which aims to find new tax options to fund Nevada's roads as an alternative to gasoline taxes. The project is part of a multi-year grant that began in 2009 called the "Distance-Based User Fee Pilot Program" funded by the Nevada Department of Transportation.

"Gasoline taxes, which have long funded roads, are becoming a less viable means to finance roads as the vehicle fleet becomes more fuel efficient and shifts to alternative energy sources such as hybrids and electrics," he said. "There is currently no direct means to create a user fee for those vehicles. Our study is designed to explore options for such a tax system."

Before this work, Herzik worked with Reno's Regional Transportation Commission on alternative energy's link to transportation and with the City of Reno on racial profiling.

Herzik's teaching load includes classes that focus on his interests of public administration, American politics and public policy. He has been teaching at the University since 1989 and regularly teaches American politics, American presidency, politics of Nevada and seminars in public administration, particularly government budgeting. He also was a College of Arts and Science Senator Alan Bible Teaching Excellence Award recipient in 1996 and was awarded the Aaron Wildavsky Book Award from the Policy Studies Organization in 1997. In 2018, he was named University Distinguished Professor.

As an experienced researcher in applied policy research for two decades, Herzik understands the significance of conducting applied research, as well as teaching in the classroom. "I think applied research is especially important as it connects academic training with real world problems," Herzik said. In addition to his applied and academic research, he is also a widely quoted media analyst on state, regional and national politics.

Research interests

  • American politics
  • State and local politics
  • Policymaking and administration


  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina
  • B.A., University of California, Irvine